by Sawaki Kôdô Rôshi
Translated from Japanese by Jesse Haasch and Muhô
“You’re always hanging onto others. If somebody’s eating French fries, you want French fries too. If somebody’s sucking on a candy, you want a candy too. If somebody’s blowing on a penny whistle, you scream, “Mommy, buy me a penny whistle too!”
And that doesn’t just go for children.
When spring comes, you let spring turn your head. When autumn comes, you let autumn turn your head. Everyone is just waiting for something to turn their head. Some even make a living turning heads – they produce advertising.
People love emotional confusion. Just look at the film posters in front of the cinema: nothing but emotional confusion on their faces. Buddha-dharma means not putting yourself at the mercy of emotional confusion. In the world, on the other hand, a big fuss is made over nothing.
It goes with being an ordinary person: he can only see with the eyes of collective stupidity.
Being surrounded by heroes and scraping up the courage to play hero yourself – there’s nothing so heroic about that. A thief says to his son, “If you don’t stop right away with your damned honesty, you’ll never be a respectable thief like me. You are a disgrace to the profession!”
Man makes a clever face and talks about being lord on Earth. And at the same time he doesn’t even know where to begin with his own body: he watches sports on television and defends himself saying that everyone else does it too.
We live in group stupidity and confuse this insanity with true experience. It is essential that you become transparent to yourself and wake up from this madness. Zazen means taking leave of the group and walking on your own two feet.
One at a time people are still bearable, but when they form cliques, they start to get stupid. They fall into group stupidity. They’re so determined to become stupid as a group that they found clubs and pay membership dues. Zazen means taking leave of group stupidity.”